Thursday, October 14, 2010

Easy Lunchtime Pizza

Who doesn't want an easy lunch option when they have been running around all day long? I get sick of sandwiches, and picking through the refrigerator isn't the most exciting option, unless you are able to turn random items into a masterpiece. This is what I do when I make pizza in my house. Dig though the produce and cheese drawers and create a delicious pie. Making pizza can be simple, though making the dough, and rolling it out can take a little more time than one wants when eating midday.

My inspiration for this quick pizza came from a bite that I had at our close friend's house last month, grilled figs wrapped with prosciutto and stuffed with fresh mozzarella. In my opinion, the flavors in this combination hit a home run. Sweet, salty, creamy. As I was eating this, I kept thinking how good all these items would taste on a pizza (this is what I do with almost everything I eat..anything can be turned into a pizza.) On my next trip to Whole Foods I stocked up on the ingredients, but instead of grabbing yeast to make the dough, I bought a package of naan. Naan is an South Asian flat bread, popular in countries like India and Pakistan, that mimics that of a thin crust pizza dough when cooked. And the fact that a piece of naan is the perfect size for a personal lunch-size pizza made it my choice on this shopping trip.

The longest part of this meal is preheating the oven. I like to cook my pizza at 500, so waiting for the oven to heat can take a while. I cook it so high because it keeps the ingredients from getting mushy and overcooked but makes the crust charred and crisp. Just the way I like it. If you would rather cook your pizza at a lower temperature, no problem, you'll just have to cook it longer so the overall time may end up being the same. Take my advice...wait for the oven!

Use this recipe as a starting off point for inspiration. You can make any pizza on one of these little naans... even following the same cooking times regardless of the ingredients you use. Get creative, this is the perfect opportunity to create your perfect bite!

Fig & Prosciutto Pizza
serves 1

1 piece naan (I buy mine at Whole Foods)

extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper


1-2 small fresh mozzarella balls, sliced thinly (this makes all the difference for pizza. Don't buy the rubbery stuff!)
1 slice good quality prosciutto, torn into bit size pieces (I like to use San Danielle if I am cooking with it...go for the really good stuff if you are eating it cold)

3 fresh figs, sliced in half ( I like the green Kadota's since are softer and sweeter than Mission, but use whatever you can find. Figs are still in the grocery stores right now, at least they were earlier this week, but if you can't find them you can use fig preserves instead. Dab it on in about six spots- I like the Dalmatia brand sold at Whole Foods).

Preheat oven to 500. If you have a pizza stone make sure it in in the oven before turning it on. I prefer to use a pizza stone since it helps create a really crisp crust. If you don't have a pizza stone, drizzle a cookie sheet with olive oil and place in the oven before turning it on and heat it with the oven. Once the oven is preheated, place the pizza directly on the sheet. This will help you achieve the crunch without the stone!

To assemble your pizza:

Drizzle naan with a little oil. Rub it all over the bread with your hands (the best tools!) Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly grated pepper. Finely grate some Parmesan, creating a fine base layer. Scatter mozzarella slices, figs and prosciutto on top and pop in the oven. This will take about 5-7 minutes to cook. After 5 minutes keep an eye on it so that it doesn't get too charred (unless you like it that way!)

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